A Rialto auto accident on the 200 block of Willow Ave. near Rialto Ave., caused by a speeding drunk driver in a Honda Sport Utility Vehicle has killed a 2-year-old girl and seriously wounded her family, according to a news article in The Daily Bulletin.
Phelan resident Rolando Astorga, 27-years-old was intoxicated when he hit the Rialto family of four who had been riding their bicycles on the sidewalk, said Rialto Police Lt. Joe Cirilo. He was fleeing from an earlier accident when he hit a median, lost control of his vehicle and struck the family. The 2-year-old girl and her 28-year-old father William Dinoso Dean were taken to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton. The mother, Glenda Brooks, 26 and her 1-year-old son were taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center.
What a senseless and horrific situation for this young family. Please keep them in your prayers and your hearts.
Alcohol-impaired driving is a huge problem. Typically drunk-driving incidents are at a high around the July 4th holiday. California Highway Patrol. (CHP) San Bernardino County had 25 Driving Under the Influence (DUI) fatalities in July of 2006 (last year available). The total number of San Bernardino County DUI accident deaths was 152 with nearly 2,000 injured in 2006.
Studies on DUI related accident show since 1997 a third of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers have had a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or above, nationwide. All states have enacted laws defining “impairment” as driving with a BAC at or above 0.08 percent. In addition, all states also have “zero tolerance” laws that prohibit people younger than 21 from driving after drinking.
Understandably the victims’ family members and the entire community are in shock. Astorga, in one thoughtless action has caused so much pain and grief. I’m positive our justice system will prosecute him to the fullest extent. Astorga could and should face several felony charges. For the Dean family though, nothing is going to bring back their little girl or make them whole again.
The Dean family has substantial rights, including seeking financial compensation for their losses from Astorga. The family should consult a qualified auto accident attorney as soon as they can. A skilled personal attorney will help discover any other causes for this accident and any others who may be financially liable for the Dean family injuries.
If Dean is covered by his or a family member’s auto insurance then, they likely have both uninsured motorist insurance coverage as well as under insured motorist coverage. Even though the family was not in a car at the time of the accident they are still covered under this provision. While those are the rules, most insurance companies treat a claimant like an adversary rather than a policyholder. An established law firm experienced in handling auto insurance claims will be able to assist with any uninsured or underinsured claim.